My Musings

Friday, March 28, 2008

A Change Of Ministry - One Wife's Testimony

Psalm 118:8 "It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man."

For some people, change is never easy. A change in ministry is no different. In this post I would like to share with you my personal experience and feelings as God began to change the direction of the ministry God has for our family. I'm sure my perspective is somewhat different than what my children or husband have.

God used the verse above to help me with this transition our family is going through in more ways than one. I will explain how as I go through this post.

Another portion of Scripture is Ephesians 5:22-24 "Wives submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing."

I don't know how other wives are but I don't like change. When God called my husband into the ministry, change was not something I had given much thought. In the 13 years since that calling, we have been in two churches. The first one was for ten months and created much hurt. The second church we were at for nearly eight years. The second church has been a great experience. The people loved us and treated us well.

It was approximately a year before God confirmed what He was doing that things began to change. I noticed this change in my heart much like the change that took place before we left our home church. I truly believe that when God gets us ready for a change that He puts a separation in our hearts to make it easier for us to leave the church family that we become close to. Without that separation it would be harder to follow God.

I had always wanted to stay at the same church for our entire ministry. I know pastors who have had that be the case in their lives. I've never been one to like change. I didn't want to believe or admit that God would change our direction or our place of ministry. My husband would comment that he felt something had changed and I would try to encourage him that God was still using him and that everything was fine. The truth was that deep down I knew something wasn't right. I knew things were different.

It took close to a year of trying to fool myself and my husband before I was willing to admit that I knew God was done with us at our church. First, I told the Lord that I needed confirmation of His will. Then I needed peace. The confirmation came when my husband told my children and me that God was moving him into the prison ministry. This news scared me to death. There is security in pastoring. Security in knowing where we'd be going to church for each service. Also in knowing there would be a paycheck each month. We also knew the people we'd be worshipping with and we had become close to them.

It wasn't that I didn't trust my husband and what he had heard from God. I just had seen so many preachers think they had made the decision God wanted them to make only to say later that they missed it. After all, we had no home to go to. We had lived on the church property in a home that the church had fixed for us to live in. My husband's health hasn't been good fro some time. He'd have to get a job and find a home to buy or rent. We'd be going on deputation to get support from churches in which we didn't know a single person. All of these things were things that gave me much fear. How could I know this was God's will?

It was confirmed on a Wednesday night when my husband met with the men to tell them what he felt God was doing. I received my answer that night and also the peace I needed to know this change is God's will. When he told the men they responded by telling him they knew God was getting ready to move us out. They also felt that it would be to go into the prison ministry. When my husband told me all of this I began to cry and thank the Lord for giving me the peace and the answer that I needed.

God has been answering prayer in so many ways since He gave me that peace. God led my husband to a job that suits him that doesn't require a lot of physical activity that would affect his health too much. The job also pays enough to get a house and pay all of our bills. Then God led us to the house we would need to suit us in size and location for a price we could afford. God gave us peace about the church we would have as our sending church. He has provided the money we needed for prayer cards. He has also provided several churches that are willing to let us come so my husband can share the burden God has given us for the prisoners and his burden to try to reach them with the gospel.

God has reminded me that He is our source for everything. Those fears I had were unfounded or without cause. The devil has tried everything to try to keep us from following God's will. He has even influenced one of our children to fight against us and God in this new direction. But we know that we serve a God that is much more mighty and powerful than the devil. So regardless of what that child chooses to do we are going to go forth with God's plan and His will while praying for her to do the right thing. Other family members have shown their disagreement in what we will be doing. But like Psalm 118:8 tells me, we are not to put our confidence in man but in God.

God is sovereign and makes no mistakes. So we will go forth and do as God leads. There has been much to get through in going through this transition but there is now a peace I cannot explain.

Please pray for us as we embark on this new journey that we are beginning. It will be different from what we have known before. But God is the same no matter what. Even though our lives change, God remains the same. AMEN!!


Serving a risen Saviour

Sis. Julie

*****

Author Info:
Sister Julie is the author of Julie's Jewels, her personal blog where she writes inspiring devotionals and works to encourage believers.

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